It’s already Thursday, but I still want to say that Kramer and I had a really great weekend this past week. On Friday night, our friends Shahab and Catherine had us over for dinner, where they went all out making Maryland-style crabs. Shahab made corn fritters, peel-and-eat shrimp, potatoes, corn, and, of course, Old Bay seasoned blue crabs. Everything was delicious, and we maybe had one more glass of wine than we should have had, but it’s hard to stop when you’re hanging out and eating. You always need one more glass. The table was even coated with paper and the crabs and shrimp were spread out over it – this was the real deal. Saturday morning, we found the strength to get up early and hit the road with our friends Matt and Amanda to attend a wedding in New Jersey. Our friends Taylor and Sanji were getting married, and it was the first Indian wedding I’d ever been to. Obviously, it was awesome. Taylor rode in on a white horse, everyone was wearing traditional, colorful saris, and there was more food than you’d know what to do with. I had to try to pace myself because there was, of course, a ton of dancing to do, and shockingly, jumping around and dancing with a stomach full of spicy Indian food doesn’t tend to end well. I managed to not totally stuff myself, danced a ton, ate cake, and all around had a great time. In the morning, the first order of business was to hit up IHOP for post-wedding pancakes, then we came home and had to go out for at least one or two beers at a bar with outdoor seating because the weather has just been so beautiful, and I know that’s not going to last. Fall, we hardly knew ye, is what I’m sure I’ll be saying in two weeks when I’m freezing my face off in yet another New York winter.
Crabs that our friend Shahab made, delicious food from a wedding we went to this past weekend, IHOP breakfast after said wedding, and a peanut butter crunch cone from Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.
So, seeing as how fall is here, that means it’s pumpkin season and all you manic pumpkin-heads can finally rejoice and gorge on pumpkin-flavored everything. As a food blogger, I am, of course, required to feed into this country’s insane pumpkin addiction, which isn’t totally unwarranted, I’ll admit. Pumpkin treats are delicious, and should probably be eaten for breakfast at least once a week as soon as the leaves start to change. That’s why when Maui Brand Sugar approached me about creating a recipe for them, I knew it had to be pumpkin, and it had to be breakfast appropriate. Enter this spiced pumpkin pecan bread. It’s packed with pure pumpkin flavor and a moist crumb, but still has plenty of texture from the chopped pecans and crunchy, raw sugar topping. I love how the sprinkling of raw sugar on the top of this loaf of bread cracked slightly while baking, giving it that wonderfully rustic look that you want in fall-themed baked goods. My favorite way to eat a quick bread like this is with a giant cup of coffee in the morning, preferably on a day where I woke up early enough to give myself some time to read the news, maybe catch up on some blog stuff, and leisurely get ready for work. That doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I’m grateful to have something tasty to munch on while I start my day. Alternatively, this wouldn’t be half bad warmed up in the microwave slightly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream. Dream big, kids, dream big.
Here’s what you’ll need.
Make your batter.
Fold in your pecans, then add it to your prepared pan. Sprinkle generously with raw sugar.
Decorate with your pecans, if you like. I did a line down the middle…not sure why, it just felt right when I was making this at 10PM one night.
Let the bread cool a bit before slicing.
I recommend enjoying with a cup of coffee.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup natural cane or granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 inch loaf pan with parchment paper, and spray with non-stick spray or grease with butter, if you desire. Set aside.
- Whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your mixer or just a large bowl, beat together your pumpkin puree and sugars, for about a minute or so, until well combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add in your egg and beat to combine, then add in your milk and beat again to combine, scraping down the bowl as you go. Add in your vanilla and once again, beat to combine.
- Add in your flour mixture, and mix until just moistened. Fold in your pecans, saving a few for decorating the top of the bread, if you like. Scrape the batter into your prepared pan, sprinkle the top of the loaf generously with raw sugar, and decorate with a few extra pecans. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool for 1 hour or so before slicing. This loaf will keep well, wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature (or in the fridge if it's hot outside, but why are you baking pumpkin bread if it's hot outside?), for up to 3 days. Alternatively, this will freeze well, too!